An innovative and comprehensive online database of Qatar’s research equipment resources, designed to ensure they are shared and that their use is maximised among the nation’s research community, has been launched by Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D).
The R&D Asset Management Portal – which can now be accessed through QF R&D’s website, provides a detailed catalogue of the full scope of major research equipment within the laboratories and workshops of Qatar’s leading research institutions, and allows researchers to make quick, direct contact with the supervisors of these facilities in order to check the availability of this equipment and arrange access to it.
The initiative aims to increase the visibility of Qatar’s research capacity, by making researchers and scientists aware of the facilities and tools available within the country that can benefit their projects, and where they are located. It is also intended to highlight similar lines of thematic research that use particular equipment within Qatar’s research institutions, fostering collaboration, synergy, and knowledge exchange among researchers by enhancing awareness and transparency of the full panorama of research being conducted across the nation.
17 of Qatar’s most prominent research institutions – housing 180 laboratories and 2,200 pieces of equipment, are currently participating in the programme, with the potential for more institutions to be added. The database, the first of its kind in Qatar, also includes six workshops that manufacture apparatus for researchers, three laboratories that provide technical services, and 13 centres and laboratories that offer scientific and technical services.
It has been created entirely through utilising QF R&D’s research connections and the in-house technical and IT expertise of QGrants, a grant and research management IT framework developed by the Operations Department of Qatar National Research Fund, part of QF R&D, which has the potential to extend its services to other research centres within and beyond Qatar Foundation (QF) in the future.
Dr Hamad Al Ibrahim, Executive Vice President, QF R&D, said:
Through the R&D Asset Management Portal, Qatar Foundation Research and Development is providing Qatar’s research community with an invaluable and publicly accessible tool for accessing resources and making connections that will advance their endeavours, create synergy, and further enhance the caliber of research being conducted within Qatar, supporting our journey toward world-class research and innovation.’
‘We hope this portal will serve as a channel for sharing not just equipment and facilities, but also expertise and knowledge, so that new research networks and collaborations can be fostered. The portal exemplifies the all-embracing culture of research and innovation that QF R&D strives to promote and nurture within Qatar.’
Research institutions already participating in this initiative include Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), and Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), all research institutes of QF member Hamad bin Khalifa University; Qatar Biobank and Sidra Medical and Research Center, members of QF; QF partner universities Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar; and the Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre, based at Qatar Science & Technology Park, part of QF R&D.
Other participating institutions are Qatar University, College of the North Atlantic-Qatar, Queen Medical Research Office, Hamad Medical Corporation’s Interim Translational Research Institute, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, and Qatar General Organization for Standardisation.
Through this initiative, laboratory and workshop supervisors will respond to researchers’ queries through a database-generated email on the availability of the requested equipment or services. Several participating institutions have already developed full details of the sharing protocols and policies that would accompany the use of their equipment by external parties, with other institutions soon following suit.
Dr Imad Khadduri, Project Manager, QF R&D, said:
This database, whose functionality will be continually developed and enhanced, enables researchers in Qatar who are embarking on a project to swiftly discover if and where a particular piece of research equipment is available in a laboratory, a machine that may serve their research needs can be found in a workshop, and a technical or scientific service is available, at a local level.’
By providing a comprehensive inventory of the many resources available within Qatar’s major research institutions, and the opportunity for them to be shared, this will limit duplication and redundancy of equipment purchases, enhancing cost-effectiveness and efficiency within Qatar’s research environment. The Portal also helps to illustrate the full extent of Qatar’s research capacity, enabling the use of the nation’s research facilities to be maximised, and supporting our researchers in the pursuit of their goals.’
The R&D Asset Management Portal can be accessed at qfrd.org/en-us/Research/Asset-Management